Cannes 2015: The official 68th Cannes lineup is here!

The films have been announced!! There are 49 films selected and 8 of them are first films! More films will be announced later. I may have missed some of the english titles and their directors. I beg your forgiveness... Good night... 

Dheepan | Jacques Audiard | France
A Simple Man | France
Marguerite and Juliene | Valérie Donzelli | France
The Tale of Tales | Matteo Garronne | Italy
Carol | Todd Haynes | USA
The Assassin | Hou Hsiao Hsien | Taiwan
Mountains May Depart | Jia Zhang-ke | China
Our Little Sister | Hirokazu Kore-eda | Japan
Macbeth | Justin Kurzel | Australia
The Lobster | Yorgos Lanthimos | Greece
My Mother | Nanni Morreti | Italy
Saul Fia (Son of Saul) | László Nemes | Hungary (First-time filmmaker)
Youth | Paolo Sorrentino | Italy
Louder Than Bombs | Joaquim Trier film | Norway
The Sea of Trees | Gus Van Sant | USA
Sicario | Denis Villanueve | Canada

Madonna, dir: Shin Suwon | Korea
Maryland, dir: Anna Winocour | USA
The Fourth Direction, dir: Gurvinder Singh | India
Masaan (Fly Away Solo), dir: Neeraj Ghaywan | India
Hruter (Rams), dir: Grimur Hakonarson | Iceland
Kishibe No Tabi (Journey to the Shore), dir: Kurosawa Kiyoshi | Japan
Je Suis Un Soldat (I Am a Soldier), dir: Laurent Larivere | France
Zvizdan (The High Sun), dir: Dalibor Matanic | Croatia
The Other Side, dir: Roberto Minervini | Italy
One Floor Below, dir: Radu Muntean | Romania
Shameless, dir: Oh Seung-Uk | Korea
The Chosen Ones, dir: David Pablos | Mexico
Nahid, dir: Ida Panahandeh | Iran
The Treasure, dir: Corneliu Porumboiu | France

La Tete haute (Head Held High) | France
Mad Max: Fury Road | Australia | George Miller
An Irrational Man | USA | Woody Allen
Inside Out | USA | Pete Docter
Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince) | France

The Opening Night film was announced yesterday... Emmanuelle Bercot's "La Tete haute" will open the most prestigious film festival in the world on May 13!

La Tête haute © Luc Roux
La Tête haute tells the story of Malony, and his upbringing from six to eighteen years, as a children's judge and social worker try to save him. It was filmed in the Nord-Pas de Calais, Rhône-Alpes and Paris area regions, with the participation of Catherine Deneuve, Benoît Magimel, Sara Forestier and Rod Paradot, who plays the main character.

The world première of La Tête haute will be shown in the Grand Théâtre Lumière in the Palais des Festivals, and will be released in French cinemas the same day, on Wednesday 13 May. The film has already been sold in multiple countries.

Emmanuelle Bercot is a film director, screenwriter and actress. She studied dance at Cours Florent before attending La Fémis film school. Her talent was discovered at the 1997 Festival de Cannes, where her short film, Les Vacances, received the Jury Prize. This was confirmed two years later with a second Cinéfondation Prize for La Puce, her final-year student film. In 2001, her first feature film, Clement (Clément), in which she plays the main character, made the Un Certain Regard Official Selection. Since then, she has directed several films, including On my Way (Elle s'en va) in 2014, in which Catherine Deneuve gave one of her best performances.
Emmanuelle Bercot also co-wrote the script for Maïwenn's Polis (Polisse), which earned her the main role in her latest film, Mon Roi.

La Tête haute was written by Emmanuelle Bercot and Marcia Romano, with Guillaume Schiffman as director of photography. It is produced by Les Films du Kiosque, and co-produced by France 2 Cinéma, Wild Bunch, Rhône-Alpes Cinema and Pictanovo with the participation of Nord-Pas de Calais Region. It is sold by Elle Driver and distributed in France by Wild Bunch.

The 68th edition of the Festival de Cannes will take place from 13 to 24 May 2015. The Jury of the Competition will be chaired by American directors Joel and Ethan Coen, the Un Certain Regard Jury by the Italian-American actress and filmmaker Isabella Rossellini, and the Cinéfondation and Short Film Jury by Mauritian Film Director Abderrahmane Sissako.

Earlier, George Miller's "Mad Max: Fury Road" was also announced as one of the Official Selection Out-of-Competition films and will screen May 14!

After a gap of 30 years, the hero of the legendary saga returns, this time played by Tom Hardy after his first epoch-making appearance courtesy of Mel Gibson.

Mad Max: Fury Road transports us to a post-apocalyptic world in which gangs clash over scare petrol and water resources. Max Rockatansky, played by Tom Hardy, comes face to face with the Empress Furiosa (Charlize Theron), who is fleeing a gang in hot pursuit…

It also marks the long-awaited return of Georges Miller to the realm of action and science fiction films. The Australian writer launched the series in 1979 before filming Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981) and Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985).

Produced by the Kennedy Miller Mitchell Company, Mad Max: Fury Road is distributed internationally by Warner Bros Pictures, and in certain regions by Village Roadshow Pictures.

The film will go on release worldwide following its Cannes preview, on 14th May.

Watch the trailer of Mad Max below.

See you at the festival!

Raymond Lo

News: Watch the Japanese trailer of "Tomorrowland"!

Many film buffs are predicting that Brad Bird's return to directing will most likely have its world premiere outside of the United States -- at the Cannes Film Festival. The buzz for "Tomorrowland" has been building up steadily leading to its May 2015 bow in theaters. That it will become a blockbuster is not exactly the question but just how big it is going to be! Will it be the biggest Disney movie release of the year??? Perhaps!

Meanwhile, many fans are buzzing about the Japanese version of the film's trailer. Many are hailing this version for the George Clooney-starrer as the one definitive trailer for the sci-fi epic.

Watch it here so you can judge for yourself.


In Pictures: The Avengers assembled this weekend in Los Angeles!

Iron Man aka Robert Downey, Jr. spent the past weekend with his fellow Marvel superheroes in Los Angeles for the sequel's press day held at the sprawling Disney Studios in Burbank. The actor kept busy snapping pictures that he subsequently shared to his many Twitter followers.

"Avengers: The Age of Ultron" storms into theaters on April 23. You better be ready!

Below are some of the wacky photos RDJ shared in his Twitter account.

That's Mark Ruffalo and RDJ... 

Two pic with Thor, Captain America and Iron Man -- you know other names, right?

RDJ, Cobie Smulders and Jeremy Renner

The Avengers!

RDJ welcoming new cast members Aaron Taylor and Elizabeth Olsen

My favorite group pic!

Iron Man and Ultron conferring... 

That's Captain America and Iron Man admonishing you to watch Avengers 2!

See you at the movies!

Cannes 2015: Isabella Rossellini to preside Un Certain Regard Jury!

The Italian-American actress and director Isabella Rossellini has kindly agreed to preside the Un Certain Regard Jury, the Official Selection of the Festival de Cannes made up of twenty films to be announced, along with the films In Competition, at the press conference on 16th April.

The daughter of Italian director Roberto Rossellini and Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman, to whom this year’s Festival de Cannes is to pay tribute, Isabella began her cinematic career alongside her father as a dresser, before becoming acting for the Taviani Brothers – family friends who gave her a role in The Meadow (1979). Her career quickly took an international turn, with White Nights by Taylor Hackford (1985), Tough Guys Don’t Dance by Norman Mailer (1987), Les Yeux noirs (1987) by Nikita Mikhalkov, Blue Velvet (1986) and then Wild at Heart (1990) by David Lynch, for whom she played a number of mysterious and tortured female roles.

She went on to star in a wider variety of guises for both television and film in Italy and America but returned to arthouse cinema with Abel Ferrara’s The Funeral (1996), and Two Lovers by James Gray (2008), in which she played a role of remarkable intensity. In 2010 she appeared in The Solitude of Prime Numbers by Saverio Costanzo.

In 2008 following a request from Robert Redford, she threw herself into directing a miniseries devoted to the reproduction, seduction techniques and maternal behaviour of animals. Green Porno, Seduce me and Mammas – all produced by SundanceTV – revealed her irresistible comic talent and off-beat sense of humour.

Isabella Rossellini and Jean-Claude Carrière then made a scenic version entitled Animals Distracted Me, which toured the world to great acclaim.

At the Festival de Cannes, Isabella Rossellini will take part in the tribute to her mother by attending the screening of Ingrid Bergman, in Her Own Words‏, a documentary by Stig Björkman being shown as part of the Cannes Classics.

She will also launch her own ‘Ingrid Bergman Tribute’ to celebrate the centenary of her mother’s birth. The show, directed by Guido Torlonia and Ludovica Damiani, will be based on both her autobiography and her correspondence with Roberto Rossellini and will play on some at the world’s major theatres.

With the help of a soon-to-be-announced Jury made up of artists, journalists and festival directors, Isabella Rossellini will award the Un Certain Regard Prize and meet the winners on Saturday 23rd of May, on the eve of the closing ceremony.

The 2014 Un Certain Regard was awarded by President of the Jury Pablo Trapero to White God directed by Kornél Mundruczó.

Oscars® 2016: Calendar for next 3 years of Oscars® is here!

Oscar Sunday, February 28, 2016

LOS ANGELES, CA — The Academy and the ABC Television Network on Thursday announced the dates for the 88th, 89th and 90th Oscar® presentations.  The Academy Awards® will air live on ABC on Oscar Sunday, February 28, 2016, February 26, 2017, and March 4, 2018, respectively.

Academy key dates for the 2015 Awards season are:

Saturday, November 14, 2015 | The Governors Awards
Wednesday, December 30, 2015 | Nominations voting opens 8 a.m. PT
Friday, January 8, 2016 | Nominations voting closes 5 p.m. PT
Thursday, January 14, 2016 | Oscar Nominations Announcement
Monday, February 8, 2016 | Oscar Nominees Luncheon
Friday, February 12, 2016 | Final voting opens 8 a.m. PT
Saturday, February 13, 2016 | Scientific and Technical Awards
Tuesday, February 23, 2016 | Final voting closes 5 p.m. PT
Oscar Sunday, February 28, 2016 | 88th Academy Awards begins 7 p.m. ET/ 4 p.m. PT

The 88th Academy Awards will be held at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be televised live by the ABC Television Network.  The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.


News: IFC Films to release Kyle Patrick Alvarez's THE STANFORD PRISON EXPERIMENT on July 17, 2015!

Opens in Theaters via IFC Films July 17th

Starring Billy Crudup, Ezra Miller, Tye Sheridan, Olivia Thirlby, and Many More

The Story

It is the summer of 1971. Dr. Philip Zimbardo launches a study on the psychology of imprisonment. Twenty-four male undergraduates are randomly assigned to be either a guard or a prisoner. Set in a simulated jail, the project unfolds. The participants rapidly embody their roles—the guards become power-hungry and sadistic, while the prisoners, subject to degradation, strategize as underdogs. It soon becomes clear that, as Zimbardo and team monitor the escalation of action through surveillance cameras, they are not fully aware of how they, too, have become part of the experiment.

Based on the real-life research of Dr. Zimbardo (who was a consultant on the film), THE STANFORD PRISON EXPERIMENT is a dramatic period piece that remains relevant over 40 years later. Along with an impressive cast, including Billy Crudup as Zimbardo, Kyle Patrick Alvarez (C.O.G., 2013 Sundance Film Festival) delivers an intense, visceral film about the role of power that plays to both chilling and exhilarating effect.

Features an excellent roster of young talent, including Ezra Miller, Tye Sheridan, Olivia Thirlby, Michael Anganaro, Logan Miller, Thomas Mann, Keir Gilchrist, Johnny Simmons, Moises Arias, Jack Kilmer, Chris Sheffield, Ki Hong Lee, and James Frechville, to name a few.

Watch for it!

Raymond Lo

News: Acclaimed rom-com "Boy Meets Girl" available on VOD now!

Michael Welch (TWILIGHT) and newcomer Michelle Hendley in 

"A funny and touching [film] boasting a superlative debut performance by Michelle Hendley."

"Profoundly sensitive & often wryly funny look at friendship, romance, sexual attraction and gender identity... The cast is first-rate, especially Hendley."
Gary Goldstein, LA TIMES

"A refreshing new indie rom-com..."
Michelle Ehrhardt, OUT MAGAZINE



From veteran independent film director Eric Schaeffer (IF LUCY FELL starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Ben Stiller, Elle Macpherson, NEVER AGAIN starring Jeffrey Tambor and Jill Clayburgh) comes BOY MEETS GIRL, a Southern set coming-of-age romantic comedy featuring layered, naturalistic performances from newcomer trans actress Michelle Hendley and Michael Welch (Twilight).

One of the most popular and award-winning LGBT films of the year, BOY MEETS GIRL is an authentic Southern romantic-comedy starring the newcomer Michelle Hendley as Ricky, a young transwoman trying to navigate life and looking for romance in her small Kentucky hometown. Will she find love with the beautiful rich girl Francesca (Alexandra Turshen, RED OAKS) or with her lifelong best pal Robby (Michael Welch, TWILIGHT franchise)? Authentically written and directed by accomplished indie filmmaker Eric Schaeffer (IF LUCY FELL starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Ben Stiller, Elle Macpherson, NEVER AGAIN starring Jeffrey Tambor and Jill Clayburgh), BOY MEETS GIRL simultaneously exemplifies and transcends the category of "LGBT film" to present the very human story of the blurry and complicated lines between friendship and romance, gender and sexuality.

Said writer-director Eric Schaeffer, "In making this film, I wanted everyone--regardless of gender (cis or trans) or sexual orientation to have a chance to identify with the film's themes of wanting to be unconditionally loved and accepted for who we are. The message in this film is the same as in all my work: labeling leaves no room for who we really are, or how we really experience life. I think our only chance is to bury those labels forever in favor of a singular new one: human. Hate is easy.  The real courage is in love."

BOY MEETS GIRL completed its theatrical run in February 2015 and garnered numerous awards on the film festival circuit, including Best Feature at the Teaneck International Film Festival, the prestigious Iris Prize Festival and the Memphis Gay & Lesbian Film Festival. The film also picked up multiple awards at FilmOut San Diego, sweeping up nearly every jury award for which it was eligible at the 2014 festival - nabbing statues for Best Feature, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Supporting Actor. Hendley also won the Programming Award for Outstanding Emerging Talent.        

Raymond Lo

News: Agnes Varda Retrospective in Los Angeles this Weekend!

The American Cinematheque Presents...

3-Night Film Series!  Filmmaker Agnès Varda & Actor Mathieu Demy In Person!

This Weekend!
Fri., April 10 - Sun., April 12
Aero Theatre · 1328 Montana Ave
Santa Monica, CA 90403 

A gifted and outspoken feminist and one of the most acclaimed directors anywhere in the world, Agnès Varda could be considered the prototype of today’s independent filmmaker: She directed her first feature in 1954 with no formal training in filmmaking. Along with Alain Resnais and Chris Marker, she made up the so-called "Left Bank Group" of the early 1960s, distinct from other French New Wave directors for their interest in both documentary and fiction and their passion for both political and social filmmaking. Her marriage to Jacques Demy (1931-1990) made her one half of the most beloved filmmaking couple of their day.

In 1962, Varda directed the legendary CLÉO FROM 5 TO 7, a New Wave classic about two hours in the life of a pop singer. The film’s sense of profound realism crossed with lyrical visual poetry pointed the way toward much of Varda’s later work, which would alternate between acclaimed documentaries and fiction features. Shining examples of these include her Jane Birkin imaginary biopic JANE B. FOR AGNÈS V. and offbeat romance KUNG-FU MASTER!, in which famed performer Birkin (a longtime friend of Varda) plays a middle-aged mother (to real-life daughter Charlotte Gainsbourg) in love with a teenager (Varda's son Mathieu Demy). Both JANE B. FOR AGNÈS V. and KUNG-FU MASTER have been recently restored and will be re-released later this year.

Though the impish Varda bears little resemblance to the haunted title character of VAGABOND, the two do share one characteristic - an insatiable wanderlust. The journeys of Agnès Varda - captured so beautifully in the recent five-part documentary series "From Here To There" - have brought the director around the world, exploring film and other arts in many different cultures.

See you at the movies!

Raymond Lo

News: "BRAVETOWN" starring Josh Duhamel, Maria Bello, Laura Dern and Lucas Till to open May 8th!

eOne will release BRAVETOWN theatrically nationwide in select theaters and on VOD May 8th

The Story

Josh Harvest, a hardened New York City teen from a broken home – and quietly one of the country’s top dance club DJs and remixers – is sentenced to counseling for a minor drug infraction, along with an extended stay with his estranged father, who lives in a small town in North Dakota.  He is slow to warm to his new environment, a town best-known for sending its young off to war, many of whom never return.  But when Josh is asked to help out the last-place dance team as they vie for the state competition title, his rough exterior begins to soften.  As his relationships emerge with both the team’s captain, Mary, and his therapist, each of whom have lost someone special to war, it forces all three to begin to face and heal their pasts.

Director Daniel Duran provides a strong mixture of rich dramatic performances and hot dance numbers in his breakout feature release.  Lucas Till (“X-Men”) stars as the young DJ, Josh, alongside Kherington Payne (“Fame”, "And So You Think You Can Dance"), who, as Mary, leads a troupe of energetic fellow students through some amazing dance paces, creatively choreographed by Brian Friedman (“The X-Factor”).  Josh Duhamel ("Transformers") co-stars as Alex Weller, Josh’s laid back, but subtly probing, therapist with his own dark secrets.  Laura Dern ("Wild") gives a unique performance as Mary’s mother, Annie, who suffers from her own mental illness from the loss of her oldest son, Mary’s brother, Robert, during his military service.  The film is beautifully photographed by cinematographer Angel Barroeta (“Rock of Ages”), capturing both exciting dance sequences and the peaceful beauty of the North Dakota landscape.

LAFF 2015: Paul Weitz’s GRANDMA to open 2015 Los Angeles Film Festival this June 10-18!

Opening Night film will be the Los Angeles Premiere of Paul Weitz’s "Grandma"  starring Lily Tomlin, Julia Garner, Marcia Gay Harden, Judy Greer and Laverne Cox!



On Tuesday, April 7, the Los Angeles Film Festival, produced by Film Independent with Presenting Media Sponsor the Los Angeles Times and Host Partner L.A. LIVE, announced that its Opening Night film will be the Los Angeles Premiere of Paul Weitz’s Grandma.  Starring Lily Tomlin, Julia Garner, Marcia Gay Harden, Judy Greer and Laverne Cox, Grandma is being released by Sony Pictures Classics. Also announced today, Rodrigo García was named Guest Director of the Festival, Gale Anne Hurd will receive the Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory to the Filmmaker Award and Lily Tomlin will receive this year’s Spirit of Independence Award. Film Independent also announced a pre-Festival gala event, LA Nights, a private art auction featuring the work of 2015 poster artist Noah Davis and over 40 artists, to be held at The Underground Museum on May 6. The works will be on display and open to the public May 7-21. Proceeds of the auction will go to support the Los Angeles Film Festival as well as the Underground Museum.

“Paul Weitz’s Grandma embodies our mission of supporting visionary artists and celebrating L.A.’s creative community,” said Stephanie Allain, Los Angeles Film Festival Director. “As the exhibition arm of Film Independent, the Festival is thrilled to shine the spotlight on this very special film and on the great work of this year’s Spirit of Independence Honoree Lily Tomlin. I’m also grateful to artist Noah Davis for his beautiful painting LA Nights that graces this year's poster and look forward to handing it to the highest bidder at the benefit art auction at The Underground Museum on May 6."

“Lily Tomlin comes out swinging rock-steady as the tough-minded titular character of Grandma,” said Elvis Mitchell, Film Independent Curator. “She embodies the Spirit of Independence as a performer whose list of directors range from Robert Altman to David O. Russell, two fierce embodiments of the maverick powers of film. Our Guest Director, Rodrigo García, is everything you'd want in a filmmaker, equally talented as a cinematographer, screenwriter and director. Gale Anne Hurd, this year's recipient of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory to the Filmmaker Award, learned her trade at the desk of the indie master Roger Corman and brought his example of efficiency married with her own eye for talent, conquering film and television, where she helms one of the biggest hits, The Walking Dead. We couldn't be more thrilled to acknowledge the accomplishments and careers of these great artists at this year's Festival.”

“We are thrilled to have Grandma as the Opening Night film at the Los Angeles Film Festival," said Tom Bernard and Michael Barker, Sony Pictures Classics Co-Presidents. "We have been there previously with Woody Allen and Pedro Almodóvar. From the perspective of great presentation and the important profile the film deserves, Paul Weitz's Grandma with the great Lily Tomlin is a perfect Opening Night movie. We couldn't be happier.”

Guest Director Rodrigo García (Nine Lives, Mother and Child, Albert Nobbs and Last Days in the Desert) will attend the 14th annual Filmmaker Retreat at The Parker Palm Springs. A signature program of the Festival, the Retreat brings together all the feature directors in this year’s Festival along with seasoned filmmakers who attend as honored artists. The Retreat is an opportunity to build community among the Festival’s filmmakers before the Festival kicks off on June 10. Past Guest Directors of the Festival include Lisa Cholodenko, David O. Russell, Mira Nair, Kathryn Bigelow, George Lucas, William Friedkin, Sydney Pollack, Guillermo Del Toro and Alfonso Cuarón.

For the second year at the LA Film Fest, Principal Sponsor Jaeger-LeCoultre pays tribute to a filmmaker who has brought great innovation to contemporary cinema by awarding the Glory to the Filmmaker Award. This year’s recipient is Gale Anne Hurd (The Terminator, Aliens, Armageddon, The Walking Dead). Known as the "First Lady of Sci-Fi,” Gale Anne Hurd is the producer of Academy Award-winning films and Emmy-winning programs that shatter box office and ratings records. She will be honored at the Women Make It Happen Brunch during the Festival on Sunday, June 14. Last year’s Glory to the Filmmaker recipient was Lisa Cholodenko.

Lily Tomlin (Nashville, Nine to Five, I Heart Huckabees) will be awarded the Spirit of Independence Award at the Opening Night screening of Grandma. The Spirit of Independence Award is given to individuals who advance the cause of independent film, champion creative freedom or make a significant contribution to the preservation and proliferation of independent voices. Tomlin is one of America's foremost comediennes and is the recipient of multiple awards including several Emmys, a Tony, a GRAMMY, two Peabody Awards, the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor and was the recipient of the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors in 2014. Prior Spirit of Independence recipients include George Clooney, Don Cheadle, David O. Russell, Tom Bernard and Michael Barker and Charlize Theron.

On May 6 Film Independent will host LA Nights, a pre-Festival art show and auction to benefit the Los Angeles Film Festival and The Underground Museum. This year’s poster was designed by artist Noah Davis, whose original work “LA Nights” will be auctioned at the private event alongside over 40 artworks donated by world renown artists including Shepard Fairey, Ed Ruscha, Ry Rocklen, Henry Taylor and Breanna Youngblood to name a few. Funds raised in this auction will support the Los Angeles Film Festival’s mission to empower a community of artists who embody diversity, innovation and uniqueness of vision and the Underground Museum, a new public entity for exhibitions and mindful programming in the community of central Los Angeles; run by Noah and Karon Davis. The show will be open to the public May 7-21.

Now in its 21st year, the Los Angeles Film Festival offers unparalleled access to creative voices through energetic film programming, master classes, live performances and conversations with the most compelling artists working today. The 2015 Los Angeles Film Festival will screen a diverse slate of feature films, shorts, web series and music videos, along with signature programs such as the Filmmaker Retreat, Music in Film Nights at The GRAMMY Museum® and Master Classes.

Film Independent Members enjoy pre-sale benefits beginning April 14. Passes will be available to the general public on Tuesday, April 21. The full line-up will be announced on Tuesday, May 5. In addition to access to screenings and events (even after they sell out), Festival passes provide access to a series of networking receptions and entry to the Festival Lounge, where Festival passholders can interact with Festival filmmakers and professionals in the film community. General admission tickets to individual films go on sale to Film Independent Members beginning Thursday, May 14 and to the general public beginning Tuesday, May 19. Contact the Ticket Office for passes, tickets and event information by calling 866.FILM.FEST (866.345.6337) or visit

The Los Angeles Film Festival team is comprised of Festival Director Stephanie Allain, Film Independent Curator Elvis Mitchell, Associate Director of Programming Roya Rastegar, Senior Programmer Jennifer Cochis, Programmers Jenn Wilson and Drea Clark, Head Shorts Programmer Landon Zakheim, Festival Consultant Maggie Mackay and Manager of Industry Relations Mel Jones.

Raymond Lo

News: Top Filipino comedy "You're My Boss" starts international roll-out April 10, 2015!

"That Thing Called Tadhana" director Antoinette Jadaone scores another big hit in Star Cinema's "You're My Boss"!

TFC@theMovies brings the current number one Filipino romantic comedy this April to US, Canada, Italy, Denmark, Norway, Spain, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Singapore, Japan, Australia & New Zealand

REDWOOD SHORES, CA, April 8, 2015 – Even for her first major studio film under ABS-CBN Star Cinema, white-hot independent Filipino film writer-director Antoniette Jadaone, who is coming on the heels of the box-office and critical success of her "That Thing Called Tadhana", was willing to take risks.  While You're My Boss - which she also wrote - falls under her solid romantic comedy genre, she took the challenge of directing an untested on-screen partnership in two international Filipino superstars: Coco Martin and Toni Gonzaga.  

The result?  You're My Bosshas grossed Php65 million in just three days of showing in the Philippines.  The film opened on Black Saturday, went head-to-head and toe-to-toe with powerhouse Hollywood movies like "Fast and Furious 7", and more than held its own at the box office.

TFC@theMovies is bringing this latest rom-com blockbuster to U.S. and Canada starting April 10; Milan and Rome, Italy and Copenhagen, Denmark on April 12; Paris, France on April 12-19; UAE, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman in the Middle East and Australia/New Zealand on April 16; Vienna, Austria on April 18-19; Madrid, Spain on April 19 and TBD in Oslo, Norway; and Athens, Greece, Singapore and Japan on April 26.

You're My Bossis far from just being your usual case of rich girl-poor boy, love-hate storyline.  It's a role reversal for the characters of Pong (Martin) who is the humble assistant of Georgina, an alpha female of a boss.  When Sir Albert (Freddie Webb), their company's Chief Commercial Officer, goes on sabbatical, he assigns a very important deal to be handled by Georgina.  When she meets with the client, Mr. Najimoto, the latter refuses to discuss business with anyone face-to-face except with the head honcho.  Enter clueless Pong who Georgina conveniently introduces, under pretense, as the boss.  Thus, the deal is on with Mr. Najimoto, and so is the make-believe arrangement between Pong and Georgina.

Fans and critics rave over the steady story-telling of Jadaone and the on-screen chemistry between Martin and Gonzaga as their characters adjust to their new situation:

"With a script by Jadaone & Yoshke Dimen, this movie is filled with witty, quotable dialogue in relatable situtations, which isn’t surprising. It can be snarky, just like Georgina’s initial interactions with Pong. It can be sweet, just like Georgina’s interactions with Pong as they start to get to know each other. What it ISN'T is unfunny, bland, or just plain terrible."  - Kieff Iporac,

"The film’s greatest strength is its focus. Once the two main characters are put together, there’s hardly a scene where they are apart. They interact with each other almost exclusively, the film giving them time to develop something meaningful." - Philbert Ortiz,

"You're My Boss proposes that this extraordinary circumstance of a lie... is the setting for romance to bloom between two opposites... (and) the idea of a 'boss' is redefined from the professional to the personal. There's an organic quality to her (Jadaone's) story-telling that it never spoon-feeds the audience, instead she lets the narrative unfold naturally and in a very realistic and human manner."  - Wanggo Gallaga,

 "We've been pretty busy this Spring offering one original Filipino rom-com after another to the world and being thankful that the moviegoers are watching and loving them," said ABS-CBN Global Head of Theatricals and acclaimed film, TV and concert director John-D Lazatin.  "You're My Bossunder true 'galing ng Filipino' hands of my colleague, Antoinette, and the acting skills and charisma of Coco and Toni, is guaranteed to give movie audiences a rollicking good time in the theaters.  It's a movie that all members of the family will enjoy."

For more information including the theater listings visit the following links:

U.S. and Canada |
Middle East |
Europe |
Australia and New Zealand |
Singapore |
Japan |

Watch the lovely trailer below....

IFFLA 2015: 13th Indian Film Festival on April 8 - 12, 2015

The 13th Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles is taking place at Arclight Hollywood April 8-12.

Festival highlights include the Los Angeles premiere of Academy Award-winner Danis Tanović's latest feature film "Tigers", a political thriller about a salesman taking on a multinational pharmaceutical corporation guilty of marketing a baby formula that caused hundreds of infant deaths

Other films featured are "Miss India America" -- the story of a woman's plan to win the crown after her boyfriend runs off with the former Miss India America; "Jai Ho" -- a documentary feature on one of the greatest musicians in the world, A.R. Rahman; and the world premiere of "One Crazy Thing" -- a comedic story about a man who meets the girl of his dreams, but struggles to find a way to tell her how he became an internet sensation after a leaked sex tape, the film features BAFTA ‘Breakthrough Brit’ winner Ray Panthaki and Daisy Bevan ("The Two Faces of January"). 

The Opening Night film will feature the World Premiere of Shlok Sharma’s debut feature film "HARAAMKHOR", starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui and produced by Anurag Kashyap (Gangs of Wasseypur) and Guneet Monga (The Lunchbox).

Nagesh Kukunoor’s "DHANAK (RAINBOW)" will be Closing Night film. The film had its world premiere at the 2015 Berlinale where it won Grand Prix of the Generation Kplus International Jury for best feature-length film.

The festival is widely recognized as the premiere showcase of groundbreaking Indian cinema and if you haven't attended before, there's no better time to go than this year, as the program is our most impressive ever. The 19 films in the slate reflects the rich diversity of Indian cinema, as well as the future of Indian filmmaking, with cutting-edge filmmakers bringing their acclaimed films to Los Angeles. In fact, many of the films have been making waves at top-tier festival around the world, such as Cannes, Berlin, and Sundance. 

See you at the festival!

Raymond Lo

News: Venice-winning BLACK SOULS (Anime Nere) opens April 24 in Los Angeles!

Vitagraph Films to Open Francesco Munzi's BLACK SOULS (Anime Nere) in Los Angeles on April 24 at the Nuart Theatre!

Official Festival Selection:
71st Venice Film Festival - In Competition

2014 Toronto International Film Festival
2014 BFI London Film Festival
2014 Dubai International Film Festival
2015 Guadalajara International Film Festival
2015 Miami International Film Festival
2015 Gene Siskel Center European Union Film Festival

Winner of four 71st VENICE FILM FESTIVAL awards!
AKAI International Film Fest 'Best Director' (Francesco Munzi)
Fondazione Mimmo Rotella Award (Luigi Musini)
Won - Pasinetti Award 'Best Film'
Won - Schermi di Qualità Award

Based on real events described in Gioacchino Criaco's novel, BLACK SOULS (ANIME NERE) is a tale of violence begetting violence and complex morality inherited by each generation in rural Calabria, a real-life mafia ('Ndrangheta) seat in Southern Italy. The Carbone family consists of three brothers, Luigi (Marco Leonardi) and Rocco (Peppino Mazzotta) who are engaged in the family business of international drug trade and Luciano (Fabrizio Ferracane) who has remained in the ancestral town of Africo in the Aspromonte mountains on the Mediterranean coast - herding goats. His 20-year old son Leo (Giuseppe Fumo) has little respect for his farmer father, but idealizes his Mafioso uncles. When Leo shoots up a bar owned by a rival family with a longstanding blood feud with the Carbones, his reckless actions create trouble that brings the whole family back to Africo for the inevitable bloody showdown.

"Munzi peels remorselessly away the layers of his plot in this timeless fable of pride and power, of youth and experience, of father and son, and brother against brother. Anime Nere is far more than a gangster movie set in the Italian south: it becomes a morality tale about breaking cycles of violence and finding a new way. This is its true strength, and Munzi does a superb job of detailing the various forces at work. Dark and sinister, full of foreboding and twists, his elegant film tells the story of a man's struggle to escape his past with integrity and force." PIERS HANDLING, TIFF

Watch the trailer below...

Raymond Lo

News: Acclaimed documentary "Song from the Forest" opens in US theaters April 2015!

"Gorgeous." Indiewire

"A mesmerizing documentary." Variety

"A delicately seductive flow of scenes." The Hollywood Reporter

"A charming and beautifully filmed story." Screen International

"Spellbinding Documentary…" Dot Earth New York Times

SONG FROM THE FOREST will open theatrically in the US beginning on April 10 in New York, April 17 in Los Angeles and other cities across the nation after that.

New York | April 10

Director and Subjects will be attending

Los Angeles | April 17


other cities to be announced soon for further information click here: WWW.SONGFROMTHEFOREST.COM

The Story

As a young man, US-born ethnomusicologist Louis Sarno heard a song on an Afropop the PRI radio program that never let him out of its grasp. He followed the mysterious sounds back to the Central African rainforest, found his music with the Bayaka pygmies – and never came back.  Today, 25 years later, Sarno is a full member of this community of hunters and gatherers. He has a son with a Bayaka woman, 13-year-old Samedi. As a baby, Samedi became seriously sick. As he lay dying, Sarno held him the whole night and promised him: “If you survive, one day I will show you the world from which I came.”

Now it is time to keep his promise, and so Sarno travels with his son from the African rainforest to a different jungle made of concrete, glass and asphalt – to New York City.

The award-winning documentary SONG FROM THE FOREST – A FILM BY MICHAEL OBERT takes us on this incredible journey with father and son providing an intimate reflection on the meaning of fatherhood and the sense of belonging.  Sarno and Samedi meet family and friends including Sarno’s college roommate filmmaker/musician Jim Jarmusch, whose films Dead Man (1995) and Ghost Dog (1999) include characters reminiscent of Sarno and his life story.

SONG FROM THE FOREST narrates their victories, but also their defeats in a modern epic in which the shared journey of father and son steers towards a surprising reversal of roles and gives the viewer an intimation that the African rainforest and urban America, these apparently separated worlds, are not all that separate after all. Torn from his familiar surroundings, Sarno‘s fragile world is off balance in the US. The music of the Bayaka, existing only in his memory and the recordings he made becomes his inner voice and gives its pulse to the film. This traditional African music produces a tense contrast to the images from the contemporary US and evokes memories of the forest.  The immense cultural divide between the Central African rainforest and the concrete jungle of New York City, rendered in the hypnotically atmospheric soundtrack as well as in patient and intimate images, forms a compelling and unifying backdrop to the various strands of the film. SONG FROM THE FOREST is a modern epic set between rainforest and skyscrapers.

Raymond Lo

News: Award-winning "Felix & Meira" opens in Los Angeles on April 24!


Opens in Los Angeles on Friday, April 24 at the following theaters:


And on May 1st in Orange County at:


The Story

FÉLIX AND MEIRA is a calling card for its young director, Maxime Giroux; a story of an unconventional romance between two people living vastly different realities mere blocks away from one another. Each lost in their everyday lives, Meira (Hadas Yaron), a Hasidic Jewish wife and mother and Félix (Martin Dubreuil), a Secular loner mourning the recent death of his estranged father, unexpectedly meet in a local bakery in Montreal's Mile End district. What starts as an innocent friendship becomes more serious as the two wayward strangers find comfort in one another. As Felix opens Meira's eyes to the world outside of her tight-knit Orthodox community, her desire for change becomes harder for her to ignore, ultimately forcing her to choose: remain in the life that she knows or give it all up to be with Félix. Giroux's film is a poignant and touching tale of self-discovery set against the backdrops of Montreal, Brooklyn, and Venice, Italy.

FÉLIX AND MEIRA is the Winner of Best Canadian Feature at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival.

Distributor: Oscilloscope Laboratories
Director: Maxime Giroux
Writer: Maxime Giroux and Alexandre Leferriére
Starring: Hadas Yaron, Martin Dubreuil and Luzer Twersky
Running time: 106 minutes
Release Date: April 17, 2015 (NY), April 24, 2015 (LA)

Watch the trailer below...

News: Seed and Spark campaign launched for "First Girl I Loved"



2014 LAFF Audience Award Best Narrative Feature 
2015 Sonoma International Film Festival Best American Indie 
2015 Cleveland International Film Festival Best American Independent 

FIRST GIRL I LOVED is proud to be working with film-specific crowdfunding experts Seed&Spark. Over at the campaign page, writer/director Kerem Sanga is kicking things off with a video about what inspired him to write FIRST GIRL I LOVED. Also there, lots more information about the story, updates about production/casting and all the ways to get involved.   

The Story

Anne Santos, a teenager in the Canoga Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, has decided she's not yet ready to come out as a lesbian - until she falls in love with Sasha Basañez, an athlete even more conflicted about her sexuality than she is.

There are things you can’t change. Your ethnicity. Your sexual orientation. The way you look. The way you talk. But Anne -17, Hispanic and gay- will try. She’ll alternately embrace and reject her ethnicity, her sexuality, even the way she talks, all in the name of fitting in.

See filmmaker's 3-minute video pitchHERE

"I gravitate towards stories of youth in crisis. THE YOUNG KIESLOWSKI was about someone who didn’t want to be a parent but pretended like he did. FIRST GIRL I LOVED is in a sense the opposite. She’s ready to be herself, to have her first love. But this will not be easy to admit.

"The next generation is going to come along and figure this all out a lot better than we have. Being gay is becoming less ‘a difference to tolerate’ and more something that simply is. It’s not about acceptance or rejection. It’s not about being proud or ashamed of who you are or where you come from. For me, it really all comes down to love. And, as Anne will discover, before you can really love someone, first you have to love yourself. 

"THE YOUNG KIESLOWSKI followed a fairly traditional path. The film premiered at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival, won the audience award, and sold to Mance Media for theatrical and digital distribution.  

"FIRST GIRL I LOVED could go this route, and we are certainly targeting festival premieres at Sundance, SXSW, Tribeca, and LAFF; however, the goal here is to get creative with the project and break out from the confines of traditional film distribution. We think, given the targeted audience of FIRST GIRL I LOVED, that we can combine traditional casting with web “influencers” to build a strong fan base from day one of production—giving us a built-in audience that will be interested in seeing the finished product.  Additionally, we have partnered with various nonprofits in order to expand the reach of the film and its message.  LA/SF-based “Out of the Closet” thrift stores, which appear in the film, have agreed to partner with the production on a cross-promotional basis. We are also talking to the Chicano Latina Scholarship Fund out of the Bay Area, and Planned Parenthood here in Los Angeles."

The Team

Ross Putman and Dave Hunter first began collaborating with Kerem as graduate students at USC, where they were all part of the MFA Writing for Screen and Television program. Together, they developed a screenplay that became Kerem's debut feature, THE YOUNG KIESLOWSKI.  It premiered at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival, where it won the audience award for "Best Narrative

With Kerem as a writer/director and Ross & Dave as producers, they founded PSH Collective, FIRST GIRL I LOVED is their follow-up film, though they are also producing the punk-rock rom com DINNER IN AMERICA, and the female-driven comedy ESKIMO SISTERS, with Danny Leiner (HAROLD AND KUMAR) directing.

Seth Caplan is an award-winning producer known for producing the 2007 indie hit IN SEARCH OF A MIDNIGHT KISS.  The film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and sold to IFC, later winning the John Cassavetes Award at the Independent Spirit Awards.

Also returning are cinematographer Ricardo Diaz, editor Ryan Brown, and composer John Swihart.

Raymond Lo

News: Simon Pegg's "Kill Me Three Times" opens in theaters April 10!

KILL ME THREE TIMES is a darkly comedic thriller from rising star director Kriv Stenders (Red Dog). Simon Pegg plays the mercurial assassin, Charlie Wolfe, who discovers he isn't the only person trying to kill the siren of a sun-drenched surfing town (Alice Braga). Charlie quickly finds himself at the center of three tales of murder, mayhem, blackmail and revenge. With an original screenplay by James McFarland, the film also stars Sullivan Stapleton (as a gambling addict who attempts to pay off his debts through a risky life insurance scam), Teresa Palmer (as a small town Lady Macbeth), Callan Mulvey (as a wealthy beach club owner simmering with jealousy), Luke Hemsworth (as a local surfer fighting for the woman he loves) and Bryan Brown (as a corrupt cop who demands the juiciest cut).

Distributor: Magnolia Pictures
Director: Kriv Stenders
Screenplay By: James McFarland
Starring: Simon Pegg, Sullivan Stapleton, Teresa Palmer, Alice Braga, Callan Mulvey, Bryan Brown and Luke Hemsworth
Running time: 90 minutes
Release Date: March 26th (Ultra VOD) / April 10th (Theatrical)

Watch the explosive trailer below...

News: TFC Audition Caravan 2015 on April 12!

Do you have what it takes to become the next Filipino television superstar?

Join the TFC Kapamilya Audition Caravan for Pinoy Big Brother and Pinoy Big Brother Teen Edition on April 12, Sunday, 12-5pm at the TFC Studio!

LAAPFF 2015: 8-Day 31st Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival kicks off April 23!

"That Thing Called Meant-to-be"

"That Thing Called Tadhana", the critically acclaimed and box office sensation  from promising filmmaker Antoinette Jadaone; and "Hari ng Tondo", filmmaker Carlitos Siguion Reyna's first film in 10 years, are representing the Philippines in the foremost showcase of Asian Cinema in the US!

Visual Communications (VC), the nation’s premier Asian Pacific American media arts center, announced its program of outstanding films for the upcoming 31st edition of the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (LAAPFF) running April 23-30, 2015. This annual film celebration will be presented across Los Angeles from Little Tokyo to the Arts District in Downtown Los Angeles to Koreatown and to West Hollywood featuring 134 films from over 20 countries.

VC proudly celebrates 31 years as Southern California’s largest and most prestigious film festival of its kind.  The LAAPFF launches the pre-celebration of Asian Pacific Heritage Month through this year’s slate of over 130 films from both Asian Pacific American and Asian international directors from over 20 countries.  For over three decades, the Festival has presented more than 3,700 films and shorts by Asian American and Asian international artists.  This year, a total of 134 films comprised of 32 feature films and 102 shorts will be showcased throughout the eight-day fest.

The 31st edition of the Film Festival kicks off with the World Premiere of Wong Fu Productions’ first feature film EVERYTHING BEFORE US from directors Wesley Chan, Ted Fu and Philip Wang starring Aaron Yoo (“DISTURBIA;” “21”), Brandon Soo Hoo (“ENDERS GAME;” “TROPIC THUNDER”), Brittany Ishibashi (“REVENGE OF THE BRIDESMAIDS;” “EAGLE EYE”) and introducing Victoria Park.  The film is the first feature film production to be developed and produced through the VC Film Development Fund in collaboration with Comcast.

EVERYTHING BEFORE US screens Opening Night April 23 at 7PM at the Aratani Theatre at the JACCC in Little Tokyo – Downtown Los Angeles.

“We are excited and proud to be opening with EVERYTHING BEFORE US,” states VC Interim Executive Director Francis Cullado.  “It is imperative for our organization to support our filmmakers and content creators by producing feature films. Through the VC Film Development Fund, we are able to work together with talented and groundbreaking creative artists such as Wong Fu Productions, one of the first successful filmmaking teams of the YouTube generation, with over 2.4 million subscribers. Funding their first feature gave us the opportunity to truly to nurture Wong Fu’s evolution to narrative feature filmmaking. This is a milestone.”

The Festival Centerpiece Presentation of the West Coast premiere of KTOWN COWBOYS from the talented Daniel Park takes us back to Los Angeles’ K-Town, home of designer hotels, noraebangs, Korean BBQ joints and more.  Park’s award winning web series by the same name is now a full length feature, and reunites that fun loving crew of young bucks trolling the bars and cafes and hangouts of LA’s Koreatown including Jason (Shane Yoon), Sunny (Sunn Wee), Peter (Peter Jae), Danny (Danny Cho) and Robby (Bobby Choy) back together again. KTOWN COWBOYS will screen Saturday, April 25 at 8PM at the Aratani Theatre at the JACCC in Little Tokyo – Downtown Los Angeles.

The Festival Centerpiece documentary presentation is the West Coast premiere of the award winning TWINSTERS from Samantha Futerman and Ryan Miyamoto.  TWINSTERS is the real-life story of actress Samantha Futerman and budding fashion designer Anaïs Bordier - twin sisters separated shortly after birth and respectively adopted by American and French families. Discovering their existence for the first time via social media, their unique experiences are documented through a series of video blogs, Skype conversations and real-time footage.  Every intimate moment is captured from their first meeting to the DNA test results, home visits and their first visit back to Seoul. The film explores the idea of family, adoption, nature vs, nurture, and the power of social media, ultimately redefining conventional definitions of “family.”  TWINSTERS screens Saturday April 25 at 5PM at the Aratani Theatre at the JACCC in Little Tokyo – Downtown Los Angeles.

Closing out this year’s celebration is the Los Angeles premiere of the acclaimed MARGARITA, WITH A STRAW from director Shonali Bose. Based loosely on the experiences of the director’s own sister, MARGARITA is a winning film with vitality and heart. Kalki Koechlin stars as Laila, a Delhi University student and aspiring writer who crafts lyrics and electronic sounds for an indie band. A wheelchair user with cerebral palsy, Laila is an adventurous soul who doesn’t let much get in the way of her life. When Laila is admitted to New York University and leaves India with her mother (Revathy) for Manhattan, she meets a fiery activist, Khanum (Sayani Gupta), who challenges her beliefs, sparks her creativity, and, eventually seduces her. Thus, she embarks on a journey of sexual discovery that threatens the relationships between her family and friends, yet offers a way to gain a measure of independence and self-worth.

“Our lineup this year of the number of Asian American filmmakers and Asian American stories is impressive,” states Festival Co-Director David Magdael.  “Our Opening Night, Centerpiece and Closing Night films all represent stories and directors based here in the U.S.  Asian Pacific American filmmakers make up over half of our feature film lineup and we are very excited that our own filmmakers are raising the bar in terms of creating and producing feature films that add to the American cinematic experience and to our ever growing Asian American Cinema.”

This year’s Film Festival casts its Artist Spotlight on the award winning documentary filmmaker Arthur Dong.  Dong will present a re-mastered version of his classic FORBIDDEN CITY, U.S.A. accompanied by a live performance from the film’s legendary performers.  Dong will also present the Southern California premiere of his latest film THE KILLING FIELDS OF DR. HAING S. NGOR which tells the dramatic story about the most recognizable survivor of the Cambodian genocide – a man who became a world ambassador justice in his homeland, only be murdered in a LA Chinatown alley – a case still muddled with conspiracy theories.  This special Spotlight program takes place on Sunday, April 26 beginning at 4:30PM with FORBIDDEN CITY, U.S.A. and then at 7:30PM with THE KILLING FIELDS OF DR. HAING S. NGOR at the Tateuchi Democracy Forum @ Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo – Downtown Los Angeles.

“Arthur Dong is one of our most prolific filmmakers of our time and our community,” says longtime Visual Communications staff member Abraham Ferrer. “We are proud to have Arthur bring back the classic FORBIDDEN CITY, U.S.A. and then present his latest film and discussion around the controversial case of the murder of Academy Award® winning actor Dr. Haing S. Ngor.  This will be a very exciting and eye opening session at the Festival.”

The LAAPFF is again ecstatic to present at the Festival two programs with a long and historic significance to Visual Communications: The Armed With a Camera Fellowship and Digital Histories. The Armed With a Camera Fellowship nurtures the next generation of Asian Pacific American media artists to capture their world, surrounding, and outlook on life. Past fellows have gone on to premiere award-winning feature films as well as building a career in television. These short films will be a part of the crowd-pleasing program DIGITAL POSSE on Wednesday, April 29 at 8PM at the Aratani Theatre at the JACCC in Little Tokyo – Downtown Los Angeles.

Since 2003, Digital Histories has provided a professional and artistic work environment for underserved, ethnic-minority seniors in the LA-based Asian Pacific American community. Digital Histories will screen on Sunday, April 26 at 2:30PM at the Tateuchi Democracy Forum, JANM - Little Tokyo – Downtown Los Angeles

The LAAPFF will also feature this year’s edition of C3 – the Conference For Creative Content where creative and Hollywood industry leaders join together to create a dialogue with the community discussing important issues and trends taking place in the entertainment arena.  This year’s C3 marks the fifth edition of this important gathering of creatives and decision makers both in front and behind the camera and in film, network TV, cable TV, and new media. The C3 theme this year is “Celebrating Normalcy.”

“As showrunner and creator Shonda Rhimes spoke in March, telling stories involving women, people of color and LGBTQ characters should not be considered rare and ‘diverse’. It’s a reflection of our world, and in this case ‘normalizing’,” states Milton Liu, VC’s Director of Programs and Artist Services. “Partnering with the industry guilds such as Writers Guild of America (WGA), Directors Guild of America (DGA), Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA), the SAG–Producers Industry Advancement Cooperation Fund, and the Motion Picture Editors Guild, this year’s C3 will be dissecting ways in which normalizing continues to be a constant battle in Hollywood.”

C3 takes place over the weekend of April 25 and 26 in the Tateuchi Democracy Forum, JANM - Little Tokyo – Downtown Los Angeles.

Every year, the LAAPFF International Showcase of new works from Asian highlights films and filmmakers from throughout the continent.  This year is no different as the Festival boasts acclaimed features from Vietnam, the Peoples Republic of China, South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Cambodia, Taiwan, Malaysia, Japan and Hong Kong.

“Our International Showcase is one of the strongest ever,” states Festival Co-Director Anderson Le. “We have some amazing films from all over Asia including award winning documentaries, romantic comedies, thrillers and outstanding dramatic stories.  This year, we have something for everyone.”

In addition, the LAAPFF is proud to present the following special presentations:

EAST OF MAIN STREET - Dir.: Jonathan Yi Conceived as a project to demonstrate the breadth of Asian Pacific American voices and stories, EAST OF MAIN STREET is a multi-part series created for HBO by independent producer Jonathan Yi of eyepatch Productions. Episodes exploring those who have pursued non-traditional careers, observed significant life milestones, and sounded off on what makes them happy or angry are part of the wide spectrum that comprise the series.  A special episode will be screened and a discussion will follow.  Friday, April 24, 5PM, Tateuchi Democracy Forum, JANM - Little Tokyo – Downtown Los Angeles

HIMALAYA SONG - A multimedia presentation by Gingger Shankar, Mridu Chandra and Dave Liang from The Shanghai Restoration Project. HIMALAYA SONG merges film, live music, and narration in a critically acclaimed multimedia presentation conceptualized, produced, and performed by a trio of internationally renowned artists. Gingger Shankar is an extraordinarily gifted singer, virtuoso violinist, composer, songwriter, and only woman to play the double violin — a unique instrument that covers the entire orchestra range. Mridu Chandra has produced award-winning documentaries and narrative films that have premiered at Sundance and other prestigious festivals. Accomplished classical and jazz pianist, Dave Liang, is producer of The Shanghai Restoration Project, a group that blends Chinese instruments and culture with hip-hop and electronica. Today’s music blends with traditional instruments on a cinematic journey through past, present, and future — myth and reality.  This performance will include an exclusive work-in-progress preview of the trio’s upcoming production, NARI.  Saturday, April 25, 7:30PM, Tateuchi Democracy Forum, JANM – Little Tokyo – Downtown Los Angeles

UNBROKEN BLOSSOMS - Staged reading of New Play by Philip W. Chung; Directed by Jeff Liu After accusations of racism dogged the release of his masterpiece THE BIRTH OF A NATION, director D.W. Griffith vowed to prove that he was not a bigot. So in 1919, Griffith directed and produced BROKEN BLOSSOMS — Hollywood’s first interracial love story featuring a Chinese man and a Caucasian woman.  And to make sure his film was “authentic”, he hired two Chinese American consultants: one an aspiring filmmaker and the other a devoted family man. UNBROKEN BLOSSOMS is the story of those two men, the making of a classic movie, and how even the best of intentions can go terribly awry.  Philip W. Chung is the co-founder/co-Artistic Director of the acclaimed Asian American theater company, Lodestone Theatre Ensemble.  He currently oversees the creative content for YOMYOMF, the digital media company founded by director Justin Lin (the FAST & FURIOUS franchise) and is a writer/producer on the upcoming Lin-produced feature HOLLYWOOD ADVENTURES.  Monday, April 27, 7PM, Tateuchi Democracy Forum, JANM – Little Tokyo – Downtown Los Angeles

TOP 8 - The #WeOwnthe8th Short Film Program Held at the creativity-inducing venue The Great Company, #WeOwnthe8th stems from the grassroots movement spearheaded by actor/artist Dante Basco (THE DEBUT, HOOK) and showcases its nationwide API filmmaking talent. Conceived as a response to the API community’s current role within the creative industries, this movement seeks to foster creation of opportunities while providing a platform for supportive and positive mutual growth. Tuesday, April 28, 7:30PM, The Great Company – the Arts District – Downtown Los Angeles

CRANE-KICK COMMENTARY: THE KARATE KID, PART II - A Film Screening and Live Commentary with Phil Yu and Friends Inspired by “Mystery Science Theater 3000” and local improv groups such as Cold Tofu, noted blogger Phil Yu (aka Angry Asian Man) leads an impromptu panel in a real-time commentary of THE KARATE KID, PART II — director John Avildsen’s follow-up to the 1984 blockbuster. Phil and friends re-visit what happens when Danny (Ralph Macchio) and Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita) travels to Okinawa to visit Miyagi’s dying father -— reuniting with the old sweetheart (Nobu McCarthy); meeting the winsome niece (Tamlyn Tomita); and encountering the local bully Chozen (Yuji Okumoto). And let’s not forget the famous “drum” technique. Tuesday, April 28, 7PM, Tateuchi Democracy Forum, JANM – Little Tokyo – Downtown Los Angeles.

The 31ST LAAPFF competition film line-up is as follows: 

ADVANTAGEOUS (West Coast Premiere) Dir.: Jennifer Phang
EVERYTHING BEFORE US (World Premiere) Dirs.: Wesley Chan, Philip Wang
KTOWN COWBOYS (West Coast Premiere) Dir.: Daniel Park
LOVE ARCADIA (L.A. Premiere) Dir.: Lawrence Gan
MAN UP (L.A. Premiere) Dir.: Justin Chon
MARGARITA, WITH A STRAW (L.A. Premiere) Dir.: Shonali Bose; Co-Dir.: Nilesh Maniyar

CHANGING SEASON (L.A. Premiere) Dir.: Jim Choi
EVERYTHING WILL BE (U.S. Premiere) Dir.: Julia Kwan
I HAVE SEEN MY LAST BORN (World Premiere) Dirs.: Samuel Gray Anderson, Lee Isaac Chung
JUNE BRIDE: REDEMPTION OF A YAKUZA (World Premiere) Dir.: Derek Shimoda
TOP SPIN (L.A. Premiere) Dirs.: Mina T. Son, Sara Newens
TWINSTERS (West Coast Premiere) Dirs.; Samantha Futerman, Ryan Miyamoto
WINNING GIRL (L.A. Premiere) Dir.: Kimberlee Bassford

2030 (NUOC) (Vietnam) (L.A. Premiere) Dir.: Nghiem-Minh Nguyen-Vo
CAT FUNERAL (South Korea) (U.S. Premiere) Dir.: Lee Jong-hoon
THE CHINESE MAYOR (PRC) (L.A. Premiere) Dir.: Hao Zhou
HOW TO WIN AT CHECKERS (EVERY TIME) (Thailand/South Korea/United States) (U.S. Premiere) Dir.: Josh Kim
IN THE ABSENCE OF THE SUN (Indonesia) (U.S. Premiere) Dir.: Lucky Kuswandi
KUNG FU KILLER (Hong Kong) (L.A. Premiere) Dir.: Teddy Chen
THE LAST REEL (Cambodia) (U.S. Premiere) Dir.: Kulikar Sotho
RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS (Malaysia) (L.A. Premiere) Dir.: Edmund Yeo
(SEX) APPEAL (Taiwan) (U.S. Premiere) Dir.: Wang Wei-ming
THAT THING CALLED MEANT-TO-BE (Philippines) (L.A. Premiere) Dir.: Antoinette Jadeone
THE VANCOUVER ASAHI (Japan) (L.A. Premiere) Dir.; Yuya Ishii
WE ARE MOLUCCANS (Indonesia) (U.S. Premiere) Dir.; Angga Dwimas Sasongko
WHERE I AM KING (Philippines) (U.S. Premiere) Dir.: Carlos Siguion-Reyna
THE WORLD OF KANAKO (Japan) (U.S. Premiere) Dir.: Nakashima Tetsuya

For the complete program guide and for tickets go directly to: 

See you at the festival!

Raymond Lo